from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Variant of shamisen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of shamisen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Japanese musical instrument with three strings, resembling a guitar or banjo.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A guitar or banjo of three strings, used by the Japanese.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a Japanese stringed instrument resembling a banjo with a long neck and three strings and a fretted fingerboard and a rectangular soundbox; played with a plectrum


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The geisha, with her face whitened with powder, and her lips painted a bright red, and her elaborately-dressed hair full of ornaments, sits down to a sort of guitar called a samisen and sings, but her song has no music in it.

    Peeps at Many Lands: Japan

  • Tak Shindo takes Western-Themed standards and rearranges them to feature classic Oriental instruments such as samisen, koto, gong, flute, temple blocks, and tree cymbals. ...


  • Sugiyama however is captured and with his family meets a filthy torture death and I don't mean waterboarding, stress positions or loud samisen music, however he will not betray Toranaga-sama by withdrawing his resignation and allowing him to be impeached and invited to commit seppuku.

    "It became clear to me to me that it would be very difficult day in and day out to serve in this Cabinet," says Judd Gregg, withdrawing.

  • Many bunraku fan sites, such as the blogs Mannaka Na Hibi (kayabatyou. and Yoshida Tamame San Ouen (tamamefun., are linked to sites of reciters, puppeteers and even samisen players.

    Puppet Love

  • A bell rings, the lights dim and a samisen (a three-stringed lute) starts to play as the performance of "Shinj├╗ Ten no Amijima" (Double Suicide at Amijima Temple) begins.

    Puppet Love

  • The samisen player leaves, too, but not before she removes the screen in the corner to reveal a futon, the top quilt folded back in invitation.


  • The wizened grandma in the corner strikes up a geisha love song on her samisen.


  • She remembered being a young girl at the Dontaku Festival, the street full of people in bright-colored costumes playing samisen and beating drums.

    The 5th Horseman

  • Watch for his great piece on Appalacian samisen. . .

    Welcome to Ampontan! » Japundit Blog

  • The one objection to my room is that to get either in or out of it I must pass through the other, which is occupied by five tobacco merchants who are waiting for transport, and who while away the time by strumming on that instrument of dismay, the samisen.

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan


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  • Thanks, hernesheir!

    January 7, 2009

  • another stringed instrument...

    January 7, 2009